One of the things that I love about traveling is picking up trinkets that I keep for years to come. Each bears deep memories and brings me back to the time and place in which it was bought/acquired. I’m not a “stuff” kind of girl – I can move with one truckload, actually, and probably even less than that with the advent of ebooks. But these little treasures mean the world to me and I’ve had some for a few decades already.

Among my favorites:

An enamel bracelet from Thailand that my best friend gave me in 1986.

A pair of chandelier earrings with little pearls found at an antique shop in Paris around 2000.

A wire ring bought in New Orleans in 1999.

A black coral bracelet given as a going-away present in Venezuela in 1998. (This is an all-time favorite and it can only ever be wrestled away from my cold, dead corpse.)

Two silver cuff bracelets from Haiti given as a gift in 2003(ish).

Avant-garde earrings bought along the Charles Bridge in Prague in 2004.

A silver ring with jangling little balls on it from Mexico in 2007.

A pair of silver earrings with red and yellow flowers encased in glycerin, also Mexico 2007.

I’ll be sporting the last-listed earrings today. They take me immediately to Ensenada, under the hot sun, wandering around in between festivities for a wedding. The heat, the headiness, the sheer joy of that trip. They do that.

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